Meaning of maw in English:


Pronunciation /mɔː/

See synonyms for maw

Translate maw into Spanish


  • 1The jaws or throat of a voracious animal.

    ‘a gigantic wolfhound with a fearful, gaping maw’
    • ‘The four-foot long furry slug raised itself up around her shoulders and a cavernous maw gaped at me.’
    • ‘Others present gaping maws surrounded by rows of shell-like tubes from which little tongues seem to project.’
    • ‘The stores that faced out into the streets did so with wide, gaping maws created by the shattered state of their glass windows.’
    • ‘Some chunks of the concrete even lay on the ground below gaping maws where they used to reside.’
    • ‘The cash bribe is rarely encountered in this hard-up hobby where every spare penny goes to the ever-open maw of the Post Office.’
    • ‘This particular one now being full, he carefully sealed the lid and readjusted his belt so that the maw of an empty jar gaped up at him.’
    • ‘When she opened her eyes, a large, gaping maw of a cave awaited them.’
    • ‘The brothers promptly swiped the exclusive license from the gaping maws of nearly a dozen major competitors.’
    • ‘So the new year has dawned, and as regular as the first shark attack of summer, the private health funds have opened their insatiable maws ready to engulf us.’
    • ‘We have allowed a bureaucratic monster to emerge from the maws of politically appointed health boards and vested interests.’
    • ‘This may simply reflect who expects to be the likely winners and losers from tossing homeowners into the maw of local political processes.’
    • ‘Worse yet, in the 1600s Spaniards lowered themselves into the coughing maw, thinking it contained gold.’
    • ‘Character after character gets vacuumed up by the camera-hogging alien, all of whom shriek and flail as they disappear into its oversized maw.’
    • ‘Man has no hope for salvation, only a chance for dignity, gained by absurdly carrying on in the face of the yawning maw of the meaningless abyss.’
    • ‘Here we stand, blinking and afraid, peering into the humid maw of 2004.’
    • ‘Ahead, I could just make out the maw of the next dreaded tunnel.’
    • ‘During waking hours she's fielding phone calls every weekend, eager to feed the greedy maw of celebrity gossip.’
    • ‘Slowly, its lower jaw dropped until its mouth was an impossible maw, a gaping hole that defied definition.’
    • ‘A guerrilla soldier clung stubbornly to our clothesline pole, his foot trapped in the maw of my father's security dog, a Ridgeback.’
    • ‘His mouth was stretched like the maw of a serpent.’
    1. 1.1 informal The mouth or gullet of a greedy person.
      • ‘I was cramming large pieces of toast and cheese down my maw’
      • ‘I'm going to jam every bit of everything offered into my greedy maw until my curiosity is assuaged.’
      • ‘However, decay is an inevitable consequence of life and even though we taxpayers heave a collective shudder at the thought of strange men rooting around in the maws of our leaders, we have to accept that they, too, are human.’
      • ‘No posting until I've shoveled some antibiotics into my maw.’
      • ‘I'm the last man on earth to suggest you should stay home and shovel squash into a toothless maw just because that's the thing you're supposed to do.’
      mouth, jaws, muzzle, throat, gullet
      View synonyms


Old English maga (in the sense ‘stomach’), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch maag and German Magen ‘stomach’.